Most unfaithful partners underestimate the damage and fallout after infidelity. Many claim that they didn’t think of the consequences and often, when faced with losing what they have, panic. This panic can lead them to make further mistakes in their attempts to help their injured partner.

If you have cheated on your spouse, but have regrets and hope to save your relationship, don't let another mistake-ridden day go by without reading some of these tips.

Or, if you are the wounded spouse and your unfaithful partner unintentionally keeps on hurting you in their attempts to make you feel better, put this article in their hands.

Having studied and worked with many couples going through this, today I am sharing the secret of a helpful apology which is part of my “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” program. This is just one part of the ten part program I run.

The aim is to help you learn the secrets between couples who not only survive but thrive in the aftermath of an affair and those whose relationship blows up. If you want to make your relationship even better than before, healing MUST take place first.

Some argue over what constitutes an affair. Widely accepted is the definition on wikipedia: “An affair is a sexual relationship, romantic friendship, or passionate attachment between two people without the other spouse knowing.”

Before I share the secret to a helpful apology. Which is part one in the ten part program I run, it is important to distinguish between the three types of infidelity I come across in my practice.

1, Those who cheat because they not getting their emotional and /or physical needs met inside the marriage. Many unfaithful men and women haven’t fallen out of love; they’re largely dissatisfied with the current relationship. Quite often they claim to know that the person they have an affair with is unsuitable for them and that a long-term relationship would never work. They usually feel frustrated and when paid attention outside the marriage, stray.

2, Sex addicts. Sex addiction is a difficult pattern to break, but help is available. If you would like to discuss this in total confidence just message me.

3, Those who make a HUGE one off (often drunken) mistake. They have “temporary insane moment” where they weren’t thinking clearly at all. They cannot even answer the question “why did they did it, as they cannot believe they did it themselves”

In all 3 categories many of those unfaithful do feel remorse, guilt and shame about their actions. The good news is I have worked with and seen numerous couples successfully rebuild their marriage in all 3 of the above categories. Where couples have gone beyond simply repairing the damage caused to making their relationship the best it has ever been. I am not going to lie to you, it takes work to rebuild trust, a great deal of patience and knowing the right things to say and do.

It would take me hours to explain the 10 part system on here. But here is a check lis of what is covered in the program Help Your Spouse Heal After Your Affair.

Essential guidelines for the first 24 hours after discovery
15 critical steps for repair after betrayal
Skills to deal with their obsessive thoughts
Insight to understanding their triggers
How to undo the damage of the lies you told
Key measures to rebuilding trust
Steps required to limit their pain (and yours)
How to rebuild your integrity
Living in the present and letting go of the past

Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair - Part One Secret To a Helpful Apology

1, Show Empathy and Make a Heartfelt Apology

Successful repairers know that half-hearted apologies prolong and even defeat the healing process. Whereas, sincere apologies and demonstrating genuine empathy speed up the healing process. You may think apologizing is a simple obvious step.

But what many fail to recognize is that unless your spouse knows that you know understand the extent of their pain, healing is impossible.Expressing genuine empathy gives the injured spouse peace of mind that you realize and recognize the devastation and hurt caused by your actions.

Getting a helpful apology right is crucial which is why it is the first part in my program.

What do I mean by helpful?

Examples of Unhelpful Apologies

“I am sorry if I’ve upset you / caused you pain”

“If” can cause offence. It is clear you have caused pain and may lead to a reaction like: “what do you mean if?” “Is there any doubt that I am suffering? Do you think I am making this up?”

“I am sorry for your hurt”

“Your” puts the onus on them to heal the relationship. It can leave the inured spouse to think “Is this my hurt to deal with alone? You did the affair and now it’s up to me to heal and make things good between us?” Or may leave them annoyed further because you haven’t acknowledged the damage to the relationship and future as well.

"Sorry for whatever damage I have done"

"Whatever" is never a good idea. They need acknowledgement as to the exact pain they are going through.

Rather than offer empty apologies those successful in repairing the damage show concern in engaging ways. They show they are truly sorry and empathize with their pain.

Here are some helpful apologies

“I feel terrible for how badly I have hurt you”
“I deeply regret the pain I have caused you”
“I will do whatever it takes to make this up to you”
“That must have felt awful”
“I cannot imagine the pain you feel. I am so sorry”
“I love you and promise never to betray you again”
2, Express but don’t wallow in guilt and self-pity

When making an apology you must ensure that you’re more sorry for your spouses pain than your own guilt! I see people mess up here. They allow their own shame,defensiveness, regret or self-pity get in the way.

Don’t fall into the trap of becoming so wrapped up in your own recrimination that you fail to help your spouse with their pain. Your spouse needs to know that you are sorry for the heartache you have caused them, not that you are sorry for how guilty you feel or for the shame you have brought to yourself or the family.

It is good to show you feel remorse, but be careful not to dwell on it and make it about you.

For example don’t repeat things like:

“I’m terrible, you shouldn’t be with me”
”I’m such a bad person.”
“I hate myself, I am such a failure”
“I feel so guilty, I can’t eat, sleep and I am in so much pain for hurting you.”
“You’re better off without me and the shame I have caused.”
“I will never live this down”
In saying the above you are making it about you and this doesn’t help repair the relationship.

If you have are having a hard time forgiving yourself and are full of self-regret and resentment and this is causing you problems, consider self-forgiveness coaching separately. Recognize that your self-punishment does not and will not help your spouse, be sure to focus on their needs. Contact me if you find yourself stuck.

3, Hug them when they cry

I realise it is difficult to listen to your spouse when they are suffering, but they need you to be there for them and see it. Hold them when they cry and let them know you fully appreciate how much they are hurting.

Many complain that they felt rejected further when their partner couldn't face or didn't want to hear about their pain and didn't hug them.

4, Accept full responsibility for your actions

Successful repairers acknowledge that no one “made” them do anything.

Successful repairers recognize that nothing can ever justify intimate (emotional or physical) betrayal.

This means, no shifting blame or excuses onto the faithful spouse. Often unfaithful spouses give themselves permission to engage in an affair. They either have “self-pity” for their situation pre-affair or state their spouses imperfect or unsatisfactory behavior makes it acceptable.

Part of taking responsibility is getting counseling, coaching or joining a support group, to help address the issues underneath these self-rationalizations.

For some in my coaching that is about helping them to be more honest and open in their relationship about needs not being met and some marriage coaching.

For others it is about dealing with past issues (childhood or other relationships) that may have been linked to their own rationalizations for the affair.

Then there are those I help to break addictive habits. If excitement and thrill is missing, it is about generating other avenues to meet those needs. If they miss emotional connection and good conversation, it is looking at building that in the relationship or focusing on family same sex friendships for that.

The point is that, the focus should be apologizing without blame and seeking any further help to address the issues that you used to convince yourself cheating was okay.

Makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it? How can your spouse ever trust you again if you blame something or someone led you to it? Successful repairers accept sole responsibility for straying and seek help to change things where necessary.

Common stressors people seek help for them or their marriage include:

Overly child centered marriage
Recent birth of a child
Death in the family
“Empty Nest” when children leave
Unresolved childhood trauma or grief
Having a parent who justified their own infidelity or speaks negatively about opposite sex
Early exposure to pornography or sexually explicit media
Addiction, own or parents
Threat to longevity of current relationship
Abuse
Believe it or not, I have heard many couples say that the affair was the best thing that happened to them and their relationship. Whenever a couple comes to me for support my aim is to get them to that happier place as quickly as possible. In order to create more love, passion, fun and respect into a marriage, healing and the repair work MUST be done before or in parallel.

This article is only part one in the ten part program and is only focused on healing the wounded spouse, but there are also actions that need to be taken to heal the relationship, which I will share in other articles and podcasts.

Author's Bio: 

Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach. She helps couples on a verge of a break up to create more love, passion, fun and respect to save their marriage. She is an expert on living passionately after infidelity, whether the couple decide to stay together or separate.

As a child of divorce Nicola knows how it feels to be angry, lost, alone and relieved at the same time. So works with parent's and their children to help them through it. Nicola focuses on enriching her clients whether single or married to create new beginnings. She continues to inspire people, spreading great insights, passion and love into people's lives, through coaching, writing and podcasting. She is the co-author of 3 Amazon best sellers and two podcast shows "Love Talk with Nicola Beer" and "Divorce Talk with Nicola Beer" which are available on Itunes, soundcloud, stitcher radio, which you can download or subscribe for free.
On her website she has 3 e-books available for you as well. visit www.purepeacecoaching.com
"7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage"
"10 Simple Steps You Can Take Now To Creating A New Life After Divorce"
"Protect Your Children Through Divorce - Avoid 3 Common Pitfalls Most Parents Make"
Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach. She helps couples on a verge of a break up to create more love, passion, fun and respect to save their marriage. She is an expert on living passionately after infidelity, whether the couple decide to stay together or separate. As a child of divorce Nicola knows how it feels to be angry, lost, alone and relieved at the same time. So works with parent's and their children to help them through it. Nicola focuses on enriching her clients whether single or married to create new beginnings. She continues to inspire people, spreading great insights, passion and love into people's lives, through coaching, writing and podcasting. She is the co-author of 3 Amazon best sellers and two podcast shows "Love Talk with Nicola Beer" and "Divorce Talk with Nicola Beer" which are available on Itunes, soundcloud, stitcher radio, which you can download or subscribe for free. On her website she has 3 e-books available for you as well. visit www.purepeacecoaching.com"7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage" "10 Simple Steps You Can Take Now To Creating A New Life After Divorce" "Protect Your Children Through Divorce - Avoid 3 Common Pitfalls Most Parents Make"
Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach. She helps couples on a verge of a break up to create more love, passion, fun and respect to save their marriage. She is an expert on living passionately after infidelity, whether the couple decide to stay together or separate.

As a child of divorce Nicola knows how it feels to be angry, lost, alone and relieved at the same time. So works with parent's and their children to help them through it. Nicola focuses on enriching her clients whether single or married to create new beginnings.

She continues to inspire people, spreading great insights, passion and love into people's lives, through coaching, writing and podcasting. She is the co-author of 3 Amazon best sellers and two podcast shows "Love Talk with Nicola Beer" and "Divorce Talk with Nicola Beer" which are available on Itunes, soundcloud, stitcher radio, which you can download or subscribe for free.

On her website she has 3 e-books available for you as well. visit www.purepeacecoaching.com
"7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage"
"10 Simple Steps You Can Take Now To Creating A New Life After Divorce"
"Protect Your Children Through Divorce - Avoid 3 Common Pitfalls Most Parents Make"

Thanks for reading please visit www.purepeacecoaching.com and feel free to add me on linkedin nicola@purepeacecoaching.com